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Timoleon

Τιμολέων). The son of Timodemus or Timaenetus and Demaristé. He belonged to one of the noblest families at Corinth. His early life was stained by a dreadful deed of blood. We are told that so ardent was his love of liberty that when his brother Timophanes endeavoured to make himself tyrant of their native city, Timoleon murdered him rather than allow him to destroy the liberty of the State. At the request of the Greek cities of Sicily, the Corinthians despatched Timoleon with a small force in B.C. 344 to repel the Carthaginians from that island. He obtained possession of Syracuse, and then proceeded to expel the tyrants from the other Greek cities of Sicily, but was interrupted in this undertaking by a formidable invasion of the Carthaginians, who landed at Lilybaeum, in 339, with an immense army, under the command of Hasdrubal and Hamilcar, consisting of 70,000 foot and 10,000 horse. Timoleon could only induce 12,000 men to march with him against the Carthaginians; but with this small force he gained a brilliant victory over the Carthaginians on the river Crimissus (339 B.C.). The Carthaginians were glad to conclude a treaty with Timoleon in 338, by which the river Halycus was fixed as the boundary of the Carthaginian and Greek dominions in Sicily. Subsequently he expelled almost all the tyrants from the Greek cities in Sicily, and established democracies instead. Timoleon, however, was in reality the ruler of Sicily, for all the States consulted him on every matter of importance; and the wisdom of his rule is attested by the flourishing condition of the island for several years even after his death. He died in 337. His life was written by Plutarch.

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